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Meet the Grantees

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Divine Hiddenness and Constraints on Creation: Should We Expect God to Create Gradually?

Bethany College
Dr. John Mullen

Many Christians attempt to deny evolutionary biology, thereby creating an intellectual obstacle for biologically-informed non-Christians who might otherwise consider Christianity favorably.  Denials of evolution foster the perception that Christianity requires us to believe something that is demonstrably false, but most of us reasonably believe that God never requires that of anyone.  Accordingly, the ultimate goal of this project is to remove the perception that evolution is a threat to Christianity, and to do so in such a way that non-specialists find it relatively easy to understand.  This ultimate goal is broadly evangelistic, though it also eliminates a source of division among Christians.  The proximate goal is to show that evolutionary biology lends very little evidential support to Philosophical Naturalism over Classical Theism.  To do this, it must be shown that a gradual creation is an expected consequence of Theism.  We may reasonably suppose that God, to accomplish His purposes as we can reasonably perceive them, must remain hidden to us to the point of leaving Naturalism as a “live-option” for us given our publically-accessible evidence.  If so, God has good reasons to create gradually and can reasonably be expected to do so.  This conflicts with a tendency most of us have to think that God would want to make His presence obvious to us.  This project will be carried out through a series of academic papers, a popular-level book, and possible speaking engagements.  The latter are intended to disseminate the philosophical ideas argued in the papers to a wider audience.

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